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Airline credit cards

Compare more than a dozen cards that earn reward flights and offer valuable airline perks.

Compare airline credit cards

Many airlines offer cobranded credit cards with airline-specific perks. If you fly with different carriers, you might like a general travel card instead.

Name Product Welcome offer Rewards Annual fee Filter values
Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card
Earn 40,000 bonus miles after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new card in your first 3 months, plus up to $50 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at US restaurants in the same timeframe
2x miles on Delta purchases, restaurants and at US supermarkets and 1x miles on all other purchases
$0 intro annual fee for the first year ($99 thereafter)
With a welcome offer worth up to $560, up to 2x miles on select purchases, and assorted Delta perks, this is a strong choice for Delta fans. Terms apply, see rates & fees
Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card
10,000 miles after spending $500 in the first 3 months
2x miles at restaurants and on direct Delta purchases and 1x miles on all other purchases
$0
Earn 2x miles on Delta purchases and dining with this simple, entry-level Delta card, and pay no annual fee. Terms apply, see rates & fees
Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card
40,000 points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months, plus 3x points on dining, including takeout and eligible delivery services, for the first year
3x points on dining, including takeout and eligible delivery services, for the first year, 2x points on Southwest and Rapid Rewards hotel and car rentals and 1x points on all other purchases
$149
Earn 40,000 points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. Plus, earn 3X points on dining, including takeout and eligible delivery services, for the first year.
Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card
40,000 points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months, plus 3x points on dining, including takeout and eligible delivery services, for the first year
3x points on dining, including takeout and eligible delivery services, for the first year, 2x points on Southwest Airlines and 1x points on all other purchases
$69
Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card
Earn 50,000 bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new card in your first 3 months plus up to $100 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at US restaurants in the same timeframe
3x miles on Delta and direct hotel purchases, 2x miles at restaurants and US supermarkets and 1x miles for all other purchases
$250
This card boasts a welcome offer worth up to $700, an annual companion certificate and valuable Delta perks. Terms apply, see rates & fees
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This article was reviewed by Brad Stevens, a member of the Finder Editorial Review Board and 30-year veteran of the credit industry who specializes in rehabilitating struggling banks.

The best airline credit cards of 2021

While there’s no one-size-fits-all airline credit card available, the Finder experts have identified the top performing airline cards on the market for 2021. Have a look at the best airline cards to get an idea of what value looks like and what you might want in your card.

How to compare airline credit cards

Aside from the card’s APR, here are a few important features to compare when selecting an airline rewards credit card:

  • Airline. If you prefer flying a certain airline, look for a cobranded card that offers rewards specific to that company. Otherwise, a general travel card can help you earn on all airlines.
  • Annual fee. Airline credit cards often feature annual fees to offset the various perks they offer.
  • Signup bonus. Many airline cards offer a mileage signup bonus when you spend within the set requirements. This bonus can easily pay for a roundtrip flight, depending on your destination and class.
  • Earning categories. Cobranded cards tend to earn the most miles on purchases associated with that airline. If you plan on using your card for day-to-day purchases, consider a card that earns miles on those purchases.
  • Perks. Both types of travel cards can offer a variety of perks, including free breakfast, upgraded rooms, statement credits or concierge service access.
  • Foreign transaction fees. Many airline cards forgo foreign transaction fees, though that’s not a guarantee. Make sure to check if you plan on using your card abroad.’

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Bottom line

Airline credit cards are your go-to travel choice if you prefer sticking with a single airline during your travels, often offering bigger earnings on airline purchases than general travel cards. But if you’re not committed to a single airline, a general travel card can offer you more flexibility in how you earn and use your points.

Not sure if an airline card is right for you? Check out our guide to travel credit cards for more options.

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